Economic growth rate slows to 2% as supply chain issues take toll

The rate of growth for the U.S. economy slowed to its fastest pandemic-era pace in the third quarter, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

Gross domestic product, a sum of all the goods and services produced, grew at a 2.0% annualized pace in the third quarter, according to the department’s first estimate released Thursday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for a 2.8% reading.

That marked the slowest GDP gain since the 31.2% plunge in the second quarter of 2020, which encompassed the period during which Covid-19 morphed into a global pandemic that resulted in a severe economic shutdown that sent tens of millions to the unemployment lines and put a chokehold on activity across the country.

Declines in residential fixed investment and federal government spending helped hold back gains, as did a surge in the U.S. trade deficit, which widened to a near-record $73.3 billion in August.

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